First phase of 5,000 home development to be completed by 2029
- Credit: Archant
A 5,000-home housing development which is set to dramatically change a Norfolk town has revealed that the first phase of building should be completed by around 2029.
Will van Cutsem, a representative from Pigeon Investment Management, who own the Kingsfleet development in Thetford, said progress on the 5,000-home project is going well but more power will be needed as homes continue to be built.
The Kingsfleet development skirts the north of Thetford, with homes being built up to the A11 bypass. It was first approved in 2015.
Speaking at Thetford Business Forum’s annual meeting held online on Wednesday, January 27, Mr van Cutsem said families had already started moving in as Hopkins Homes kicked off the first phase of the build.
Hopkins Homes, who were granted planning permission in 2018, are set to build 343 homes between 2028 to 2029.
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At the end of last year, Pigeon also sold land to Kier Living who are set to build 130 houses by 2025.
A third area of land is currently under offer with another home builder, for 225 homes with the aim of completion between 2028 to 2029.
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All three developers, including Hopkins Homes, Kier Living and the land under offer, will come under phase one.
Mr van Cutsem said: “What has been really encouraging is Hopkins have sold their homes well, there has been good demand for it.
“That is not surprising given there has been limited new development in Thetford for quite some time.
“That has picked up momentum and we have had good interest as time has gone on from house builders wanting to come to this site and wanting to come to Thetford.
“Phase two is for 1,100 homes. Phase 3 is for just over 700 houses. After that we go to phase 4 and phase 5.
“Everyone would like to see the development delivered as quickly as possible, while the phases are meant to come forward in numerical order I think if there is an opportunity and demand there to bring those phases forward in parallel to each other, we would like to explore that with Breckland.”
But as the build is well under way, Mr van Cutsem said one of the development’s biggest hurdles will be the build of a new primary electricity-producing substation, as power in the town is already “maxed out”.
The substation, which has already been granted planning permission by Breckland Council, will allow the development to continue the build of houses as well as the employment area in the future.
Mr van Cutsem said: “Lots of people will be aware there has been general power shortage for Thetford. And that has been because of a lack of capacity in the grid network.
“The power is now maxed out.
“As you can imagine it is quite a complex issue to put to bed but we seem to be in the final stretch.
“I know Breckland Council has been working closely with a contractor with all of the finalised designs and has received planning permission for the primary substation which will sit just to the east and at the northern end of the Norwich Road.
“I believe Breckland Council hope to be able to appoint a contractor in the spring or early summer.
“This will be a huge hurdle for the development to overcome and keep providing new housing sites going forward. The primary station is probably going to take about 18 months to deliver.”
In the meeting, Mr van Cutsem also addressed the build of a new primary school on the site and concerns about infrastructure to support the town.
He said there is not yet the demand for school places, but reviews will continue to be taken.
Mr Van Cutsem added: "We would like to see that kind of social infrastructure as part of the development as soon as possible."